Ukrainian Choice

Ukrainian Choice logo

All-Ukrainian Social Movement "Ukrainian Choice" (Russian: Всеукраинское общественное движение «Украинский выбор», Ukrainian: Всеукраїнський громадський рух «Український вибір») is a pro-Russian NGO in Ukraine.[1][2] It was initiated by and is led by the business tycoon Viktor Medvedchuk.

Ideology [ edit ]

The organization was founded in April 2012 and is noticed to oppose European Union and NATO membership of Ukraine and would prefer instead Ukraine's membership in Eurasian Economic Space. The group also wants "decentralization of power followed by the transition to a federal structure, while maintaining the territorial integrity and unity of Ukraine".[3]

Ukrainian Choice also emphasizes Slavic Orthodox values: in July, 2013, it organized a conference on the topic "Orthodox-Slavic values - the basics of the civilizational choice of Ukraine", where Vladimir Putin held a speech.[4] (Putin is the godfather of Medvedchuk's 2004 born daughter Darina).[5]

Activities [ edit ]

According to The New York Times the group aimed at stopping former president Viktor Yanukovych from signing Ukraine's Association Agreement with the European Union.[4] In a leaked June 2013 Russian-ordered consultation document, whose contents have been corroborated by a former security source in Ukraine, the Russian government wanted Ukrainian Choice to influence public opinion.[3] At the time Medvedchuk and the organization had marginal popular support in Ukraine.[6]

In the fall of 2013, Ukrainian Choice ran an aggressive anti-gay ad campaign warning against "decayed values" in the Western world.[4] Some of the ads claimed that association with the European Union would mean the legalization of same-sex marriage.[1] At the time, Medvedchuk described the European Union as the "modern heir to the Third Reich."[4]

During annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in March 2014, the organization organized blockage of Ukrainian military logistics.[7]

Criticism [ edit ]

Ex-president of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk has stated that "The Ukrainian Choice is not a Ukrainian choice, but a choice of Russia in Ukraine".[8]

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ a b Ukraine's Choice: East Or West?, Radio Free Europe (April 17, 2016)
  2. ^ Ukrainian Choice leader Medvedchuk says he doesn't represent interests of DPR, LPR, but negotiates with them, Kyiv Post (Jun. 25, 2014)
  3. ^ a b Failing Ukraine state plays in to Russia's hands, Reuters (May 18, 2014)
  4. ^ a b c d Close Friend of Russian Leader Takes Role as a Negotiator for Ukraine, The New York Times (FEB. 11, 2015)
  5. ^ Медведчук і Марченко помінялися місцями. Tablo ID (in Ukrainian). 2007-11-11. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  6. ^ Kremlin-imposed “Ukrainian choice”, The Ukrainian Week (3 July 2012)

    Playing opposition, Den (15 August 2013)

    Russia's Plan For Ukraine: Purported Leaked Strategy Document Raises Alarm, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (20 August 2013)
  7. ^ Pro-Russian group of people blocked the Odessa highway in Mykolaiv impeding transportation of Ukrainian military transport. News PN. 2 March 2014
  8. ^ «Український вибір» Медведчука — це вибір Росії в Україні" // «Країна», 24.07.2012. (in Ukrainian)
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